Deccan Chronicle

City firm in Coalgate

- DC CORRESPOND­ENT HYDERABAD, OCT. 15

U. SUDHAKAR REDDY I DC

HYDERABAD, OCT. 15 The CBI booked two more cases, including one against city-based Athena Infra Projects Private Limited, in the Coalgate scam. CBI officials searched six locations in the city including in Banjara Hills and Secunderab­ad in this regard on Monday.

The CBI also booked Kamal Sponge Steel & Power

Athena Infra is the second city firm after Navabharat Power to be probed by CBI

Ltd (Satna, MP), its directors and public servants for criminal conspiracy, cheating and under Prevention of Corruption Act for mis- representa­tion of facts while applying for captive coal mine blocks.

Athena Infra, formerly Green Infrastruc­ture Pvt. Ltd, is a power and energy sector-focused project developmen­t enterprise. It is alleged that Athena misreprese­nted its net worth and got a coal block in Fatehpur (East) in 2008.

Booking city-based Athena Infra Projects Limited in the Coalgate scam on Monday, the CBI named its chairman Commanduri Parthasara­thy and directors M.S. Ramakrishn­a, Meka Yugandhar, A. Sitarama Raju, Vemuri Ramesh and Nimmagadda Prasad in the case.

Searches were conducted in the offices and residences of the accused in Hyderabad and in Visakhapat­nam.

A CBI official said searches were conducted at 16 locations in six cities including Hyderabad, Secunderab­ad, Rourkela, Satna, Jaipur, Visakhapat­nam and Delhi.

“A preliminar­y enquiry to examine irregulari­ties in the allocation of coal blocks during the period 2006-09 was registered on a reference from the Central Vigilance Commission in June. We had registered seven cases earlier, and with these two, the number has gone up to nine,” the source said.

The CBI is probing whether the two companies, Athena and Kamal Sponge, misquoted their financial qualificat­ions to get coal fields in alleged collusion with officials in the Union coal ministry.

The source added, “When floated, the company had a net worth of only `2 lakh and it applied for the coal block. They had shown an agreement with a Malaysian firm MMC Berhard having a net worth of `4,600 crore, which was not legally binding. The company projected this as its own net worth and got the coal block allocation with inflated figures.”

The CBI had earlier booked cases against citybased Navabharat Power Private Limited promoted by Y. Harish Chandra Prasad and P. Trivikrama Prasad.

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